I own a small business in Durango and moved it here several years ago because of the amenities that Durango offers as a vibrant town surrounded by the best mountains, wilderness and outdoor recreation in Colorado. We, as a community, must continue to protect these values and resources, which is why I strongly support the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act. The law was created by people in our community who set aside differences and came together in order to create a plan to protect one of Southwest Colorado’s treasured landscapes.
The Hermosa Creek Workgroup had representatives from nearly every interest and user group of the Hermosa Creek area including water users, grazers, dirt bikers, sportsmen, quiet recreationists, mountain bikers and miners – just to name a few. After nearly two years of dialogue, the work group created a plan on which all interests could agree – a plan that would protect nearly 108,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek watershed.
If I was writing the law myself, I would have included more wilderness. But the strength of this law is that it achieves a tremendous level of protection of an incredibly valuable low-elevation ecosystem with the support of so many different people and types of organizations. It represents a compromise among many people and organizations, which is all too rare these days. That plan is now legislation that has been introduced in both the Senate and the House. The Colorado delegation, specifically Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Scott Tipton, deserve tremendous praise for their collaboration on this bill. Their bipartisan efforts are refreshing in our current political reality.